Saturday Worth-Reading: When Henry Clay Was Sued by His Slave
Econ 210a Weekly Memos (Spring 2014; UC Berkeley)

Saturday Worth Reading: Belle Waring on David Brooks, the Political, and the Personal

Belle Waring: David Brooks Says:

Anderson, I’m sorry to hear you’re getting divorced. That’s shitty all around even if the eventual outcome is happier people 2 years down the road. Best luck.

Bloix, I do think you’re allowing your (perfectly natural) feeling that you wouldn’t want people talking smack about you behind your back if you happened to get divorced for reasons they could never understand color your views. See, none of that means we shouldn’t be talking smack about David Brooks. David Brooks has repeatedly, with po-faced seriousness, and to the actual detriment of America’s well-being (if he lulled anybody to sleep when they had their hand on the regulatory tiller somewhere, and I do think he did) talked smack about every other damn person getting divorced in America who made less than $200,000 a year. And quite without hedging.

As Corey notes, he didn’t say ‘the problem is that people do this during crucial years of child development,’ or ‘people do this because they are entirely victims of societal forces.’ No, he has gone on at length to say, rather, ‘the upper tribe of Americans are meritocrats who practice marriage virtuously, and if they get divorced–[here we may insert, it's rare, they have good reasons different from the reasons the lower tribe has, etc.]‘ while ‘the lower tribe get divorced at alarming rates (psss–because they are sluts and stuff), and are creating a new underclass of children whom it may be difficult or impossible to educate.’ He’s just gone around, giving talks along with Bill Clinton at glittering dinners while the wait staff glide around thinking bitter thoughts, talking shit about other people’s divorces all the goddamn time, for at least… 10 years? 15? He is a useful idiot preaching economic Calvinism, in which the number of nannies a family employs is a demonstration of their moral worth.

Since, in a just world, it would be acceptable for David Brooks to be drowned by a deadly hippopotamus, it can hardly be the cause that it is wrong to talk shit about his divorce, the former being so much more serious than the latter...

Straightwood: that’s very sweet of you! No one would welcome the opportunity more than I.

Katherine: I’m so sorry to hear you too are going through getting divorced, and with a kid whom I know to be pretty young. I am glad to hear that you and your ex are doing your best to keep your child’s life stable and I will be thinking of you also.

rea: how dast you bring facts into a discussion concerning Mr. Brooks! Next thing we know you scallywags will be pointing out that everything he says in his book “Bobos in Paradise” is false, such as his chucklingly good-humored account of trying to ask where the ‘best restaurant in town’ was in a variety of places in the alleged Midwest, I think, was where he allegedly visited, and being directed to the supposed Applebees or the Red Lobster, and try as he might to spend more than $20 on an entree (or a meal, he waffles) he failed, order howsoever many strip steaks as his gall bladder and the purse of the New York Times would tolerate.

And then some rapscallion found out that the ‘surf and turf’ meal at Red Lobster, consisting, as so many things in life (such as the foam used to protect electrical wiring on underwater drill rigs, and your alcoholic uncle’s nose, and miniature marshmallows) of equal parts steak and lobster, cost $28, and who was laughing then! But do you know what David Brooks said? He said, ‘you don’t understand humor!’ Also, ‘is that how you want to start your career, all snarky?’ So think twice before you bring any facts to the thought leader guy, pal, is what I’m saying, bub.

Chris Grant: it being late at night, from my point of view, I was being pointlessly surreal. The night is from my point of view; the surreal is more objective, probably.

DBW: this is a comments thread on a blog post, in which we are discussing how a widely and quite properly loathed figure has written something so spectacularly awful that, even when one taken into account the oozing pile of sludge he’s created thus far, still one has to think:

This is it. This is the f---ing topper.

Not a few of us think the man has actually gone nuts, like:

I’m getting divorced and I’ve started eating xanax like popcorn, and now the brakes are off, they’re really off, and I can bang this thing out in 25 minutes, I can beat my previous record.

This is not the minutes of a meeting for the preparation of the f---ing Moynihan Report.